Day two broke across the Black Hills of South Dakota. I awoke and reloaded the car, eager to start the next leg of my journey: South Dakota to Yellowstone, or parts thereabout.
I didn’t dally in the hills or, for that matter, in the Thunder Basin National Grassland. In the latter, the sun bore down on the pencil line of highway that stretched from horizon to horizon. My car hummed endlessly and the miles slipped away under my tires.
The plains gave way to the Big Horn Mountains. I stopped at the Powder River Pass to consult the map that Noah drew for me
After the Big Horns, I took some fast roads towards Cody. A last minute detour took me past the poorly marked Gooseberry Badlands. One second I was driving through barren desert, the next, the land fell simply fell away in ravines and washouts. I ignored the incendiary heat and jumped out my car, barely pausing to apply the brakes.
Close to Cody, I called my mom again, asking her to find me a hotel close to Yellowstone. She found me one on the edge of town. As it turns out, I could have driven for another hour or two and gotten a room much closer to Yellowstone, but then I wouldn’t have had any cell reception at night, and probably not wireless internet, either. :(